England

Severn Valley Railway raises £2.33m for Bridgnorth revamp

The station opened at Bridgnorth in 1862 Image copyright Severn Valley Railway
Image caption The station opened at Bridgnorth in 1862

Rail enthusiasts have raised £2.33m to revamp a heritage railway, hours before a year-long fundraising campaign ends.

Bosses at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), which runs between Shropshire and Worcestershire, offered shares for £1 each in a bid to raise £2.5m.

Volunteer and board member Tony Bending said the amount raised was "absolutely tremendous" and would help preserve its "much-loved Bridgnorth station".

A late surge in share sales included £38,000 bought at Bridgnorth on Sunday.

The campaign launched last November and work is already under way to create a new refreshment room and toilets at the station, as well as conserve the 155-year-old station building, which is Grade II listed.

Image copyright Severn Valley Railway drawing
Image caption The new facilities aim to keep the original look of the station

The plans include planting trees, additional car parking, a new access road and installing a turntable.

Mr Bending thanked everyone who had bought shares so far.

"Each share purchased is moving us nearer to achieving all the wonderful plans we have for our much-loved Bridgnorth Station, making it an even better place for people to visit, whilst protecting and preserving it into the future," he said.

Image copyright Severn Valley Railway drawing
Image caption Architect's drawing of revamped station

The shares do not pay dividends, but people who buy them receive travel benefits on the railway.

A spokeswoman for the railway trust added staff were still opening post from applicants and were "so close" to a "very ambitious target" they were confident the work could go ahead as planned.

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